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    How to Build Your Skincare Routine

    AllWell Beauty Daily Glow AOX Serum
    It's not about slapping on new products and hoping for the best. But! Coming up with a routine that does the most good for your skin doesn't have to be a chore, either.

    Here are our best tips for bringing out your best skin.

    Take Some Selfies
    Changes to your skin happen gradually. That's why it can be hard to tell how much of a difference your regimen is making. So it's best to begin with photos that will serve as a reference and a comparison to photos you'll take over time. Selfies work—or you can enlist a friend. The important things are getting close enough to show the skin (take photos from a few different angles) and using lighting that you can replicate later. Your bathroom lighting or a bright lamp that doesn't throw a lot of shadows could be key here.

    Do a Little Homework
    Before you even open your new product, read all the packaging. How do you use it? What is it supposed to do for you? For instance, is it exfoliating, moisturizing, firming, etc. Or, what skin concerns does it address? Are these concerns you have? What key ingredients does it contain? Have you used products with those ingredients before? And how did your skin behave with those ingredients? If you have a sample, you might not have all of this information, so go online and do some research. The company's product page will be helpful and reviews by people who have already tried the product could be a great resource, too. If there are ingredients you haven't encountered before, definitely do a patch test (see below). If there are any ingredients that have irritated your skin in the past, maybe give this product a pass, or at the very least, proceed with caution. And patch test, for sure.

    Testing One, Two!
    Not all ingredients play nice with everyone's skin. That's why patch testing is so important. Don't worry—it's easy and all you need is a little time and a small area of skin, like your inner elbow or a small spot on your neck. Be patient and test only one new product at a time. If it's a cleanser or mask, use it on your inner elbow just as you would your face. If it's a product you apply and do not rinse off, put a small amount on the patch of skin twice daily. Repeat the patch test for several days, looking for any redness, irritation or any other signs of incompatibility with your skin.

    Wondering if a new product will work with products you're already using? Patch test them together on your arm, layering each product as you would on your face. If all is well, you can start using the new product on your face.

    Start Where You Are
    Sure, there are people out there who will happily walk you through their 6 (or 10 or 20...) step skincare routine. But if so far, you've kept things to just soap and water, go slowly with trying whole new categories of skincare. So, for instance, see how your skin responds to a moisturizer before adding a serum. Give yourself a little time to see what eye cream does for you.

    Take It One at a Time
    Ever come home from skincare shopping with a big bag of sample products you've never seen before? It's so tempting to jump right in and try them all. But when you do that, you really can't evaluate each of them to determine which are really doing great things for your skin. And when you work with only one new product at a time, if you do have a reaction in the form of irritation, you can easily pinpoint the cause.

    Take Turns With What You Target
    The skincare routine that works best for you may look different each day. Consider alternating the days when you use products with active ingredients like retinol and vitamin C or using products that target certain skin care concerns when you feel you really need them. And watch for overload: if you use an exfoliating product that contains glycolic acid, you don't also need to use a scrub, which exfoliates physically. Too much of a good thing? It's certainly possible.

    Don't Be Afraid to Change It Up
    Not talking about sunscreen here—you need that every day, year round, end of story! But as seasons change and temperatures and humidity fluctuate, give your skincare routine an assessment: is the product you loved all summer for its oil control still necessary as winter arrives? Do you need greater hydration as we turn on the heat at home? Your skin will show you what it needs. Just check in now and then. Here is where those photos you took can come in handy, too.

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